RE: The Women Who Went Missing From Sport

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There’s this woman, Leena, who feels like a friend to me. I have never met her, nor have I spoken to her before. But I have been watching her YouTube videos for a long time now and they always give me something to think about or reason to be inspired. Her latest one dealt with the issue of girls and sport; how we all sort-of gave up on P.E. as the teen age hit us, and how that was a very normal thing to do for all of us. What Leena said truly resonated with me – so I thought I would share.

P.E. was hard for me. I was a shy kid, and I was very, very afraid of other people judging me. Now that’s a normal fear for a normal kid, yes. But that fear held me back from realizing my potential because I kept telling myself and others that I sucked at whatever it was we would have to do. I never had that go-getter mentality of the confident girl that just ‘gives it a go’ and has fun in the process. I hated being watched and measured up against the other girls, because in my opinion, I would always be less than. It felt like torture to be reminded in such a cruelly physical way that I was not adequate.

Even though high school is behind me now, I still feel remnants of those feelings of inadequacy when it comes to sport. Although I have mustered up more of a go-getter mentality than ever before, I am still very self-conscious when I share my workout routine with others. I feel the need to put myself down before they get the chance; “yeah but I use very light weights”, “I am so weak, look at me!”, “I can only run for like 3 minutes so…”.

I lower other people’s expectations of my performance so they don’t make fun of me… because apparently I am convinced that they would.

It’s not all bad, though. I’m learning! And I am challenging myself to a… 7k obstacle run. That’s right – me! This quiet, petite me who always hated running is going to kick some ass at the Strong Viking run in a few months’ time. Yes I will. This time around, I am training with a friend. We’re a team. We’re going to have fun being active together, helping each other out. Fuck perfect, fuck ladylike. I want fun and I want challenging. And most of all, I am going to let myself have that.

Leena’s video:


  1. Yeah! Go Girl! Kick some ass. When I run (which is a lot) I still hear the voices of imagined people making fun of my pace or my form or my clothes or something else. It never happens. It won’t happen. It might happen in middle school, but it will never happen in the adult world. In the running world, the person who loses the race gets as much cheering as the winner. *KILL* that 7K. Be the Bad Ass buried inside you!

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